T.A. Barnhart
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carpe bucko

i deserve better

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Things are not going well: I got fired (unfairly, but Oregon allows that), I have an insurance complaint to pursue against Providence (to force them to pay bills they sent to a collector), a BOLI civil rights complaint against my former employer, and I have almost no money and little hope of getting a decent job. My options are not good.

So of course my depression will assert its authority over my life right now. After all, if things get bad enough, either something will happen to rescue me, or I can kill myself. In the meantime, my brain switches off enough circuits so that I can avoid dealing directly with all this as much as possible.

No wonder my life is so fucked-up.

There is, I have come to feel, a deadness inside me. I feel no grief for the loss of my parents (not recent, but I didn’t when it happened). I feel superficial “love” for my sons and grandchildren, certainly not enough to act and become more a part of their lives. I feel just enough “passion” about things I know are important – mental health care activism, for example – to use that feeling as another measurement of my failure as a human being.

I live alone.

I am alone.

But honestly, my second worst-case option, suicide, is not something I have any interest in. Worst comes to worst, I am eligible for Social Security retirement, even though that would mean losing about a quarter of my monthly benefits compared to if I could wait on that until I’m 66. But at least I could pay rent and have a place to live.

I deserve better. I honestly do. I do not deserve this life I’ve had, this depression and anxiety and loneliness. I didn’t do anything worthy of this misery, this sadness, this fear. I deserve better.

T.A. Barnhart